by SUSAN MANN
An Ontario agricultural tribunal has cancelled two orders directing the agriculture ministry to return livestock medicines and other items seized from a retired veterinarian’s home.
One of the cancelled orders from the earlier decision released by the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal on July 15, 2011 had also directed the ministry to compensate Ken Allan of Perth if any of the medicines had expired, been destroyed or were disposed of. The medicines were valued at about $15,000. They were seized from Allan’s home sometime after he had voluntarily quit the livestock medicines licensing system in 2010.
The decision to cancel two of the orders from the tribunal’s July 15, 2011 decision was released May 29. It was handed down after a written hearing was held because the ministry requested and was granted a review hearing. The review was to determine if the tribunal had the authority under the Livestock Medicines Act to order compensation payments and the return of items that were seized based on a search warrant issued by an Ontario Court of Justice judge or justice of the peace.
Allan retired from practicing veterinary medicine in 2009. In early 2010, he applied for and received his Class 1 license under the Livestock Medicines Act. But his license was provisionally suspended in the spring of 2010 because he wasn’t fully complying with the Act. Allan voluntarily left the licensing system sometime before May 10, 2010. The ministry subsequently revoked his license.
Allan appealed the ministry’s decision to revoke his livestock medicines license because he wanted it and his medicines back, the July 15, 2011 decision says.
The tribunal says in its May 29 ruling that none of the findings of fact in the July 15, 2011decision were part of the review hearing “therefore in the context of this review all of those finds of fact remain intact.”
Allan didn’t file any materials, evidence or arguments in response to the ministry’s documents nor did he participate in the review hearing, the May 29 decision says.
For his part, Allan says most of his medicines and his papers were returned through a court action.
Allan says he no longer wants his livestock medicines license back. “I don’t want my name splattered any more. I want to be a nobody from now on.”
The tribunal concluded that its powers under the Livestock Medicines Act are no greater that the director’s powers under the Act and those relate to issuing, renewing, suspending or revoking a license. The director doesn’t have the legislative authority nor the inherent jurisdiction to award compensation.
Therefore the tribunal didn’t have the jurisdiction under the Act to award or order that any compensation would be paid to Allan for any seized livestock and prescription medicines.
About the order to return seized items, the tribunal says those items were seized after an inspector under the Act obtained a search warrant in July 2010. The inspector collected the items because he concluded Allan had committed offences under the Act and he was gathering evidence. The seizure under the search warrant was not directly related to the licensing decision made by the Act’s director.
The items seized were based on a Provincial Offences Act search warrant and the tribunal had no jurisdiction to order their return, the May 29 decision says. BF